Fort Smith, Hay River Fields may stay open

Fort Smith, Hay River Fields may stay open

Don’t put the final nail in the coffin for Fields stores in Fort Smith and Hay River yet.

A tentative agreement has been struck between the Hudson’s Bay Company and a BC-based holding company for the purchase of 37 Fields stores, including the location in Fort Smith. If the deal is a success, the holding company, formed by McFrugals owner Jason McDougall and a group of other entrepreneurs, will also have the option to purchase an additional 22 locations, including the Hay River shop.

The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) announced in early February that it would close all 167 Fields stores in Canada by fall 2012, but with the tentative agreement in place with Fields Holding Company (FHC), it appears that several Northern Canada stores could stay open, after all. HBC is winding down Fields to concentrate on growing its other business brands.

Provided all goes well, the transaction between HBC and FHC could be completed by May 1. McDougall was unable to share any further details, except to say that if the deal gets closed, the NWT stores will stay open.

HBC currently operates two stores in the Northwest Territories and 50 stores throughout Alberta. Should the purchase of all 59 stores come to fruition, stores in both areas would stay open. On the FHC purchase lists are locations in Fort Smith and Hay River in the NWT, and Alberta stores in Waskatenau, Athabasca, Barrhead, Boyle, Coronation, Elk Point, Hanna, High Level, High Prairie, La Crete, Lac La Biche, St. Paul and Valleyview.

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